Recipe & video: Grilled & marinated venison topped with sassy salsa

Grilled venison

Barbecued shoulder cut topped with tasty salsa

Recipe & photos by Cameron Tait

Most people put the tougher venison shoulder cut into the grinder or roasting pan, but it can also make for great barbecue fare. The key is to age the venison in a cool environment for two weeks, sometimes longer, letting the amino and lactic acids tenderize the meat and bring out the natural flavours. If no shoulder is available, simply use any other thin piece of venison for this quick and easy to make, tasty meal. Serves 4.

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Bonus video: How to debone venison shoulder

VENISON

  • 1½ lb boneless venison shoulder
  • Mango-chipotle seasoning

MARINADE

  • ¾ cup red wine
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • ½ tsp chili powder

SALSA

  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • ¼ cup red onion, small dice
  • 1 pear, small dice
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped rough
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp balsamic glaze
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Combine marinade ingredients and place in a large sealable bag. Add venison, remove as much air as possible, place flat in the fridge and chill for 24 hours, turning once.
  2. Thoroughly combine salsa ingredients in a mixing bowl and chill.
  3. After 24 hours, remove venison from marinade, pat dry and cover both sides with mango-chipotle seasoning. Spray barbecue racks with vegetable oil to prevent sticking, then heat barbecue to its highest setting (500°F is best).
  4. Depending on its thickness, grill the venison for four to six minutes on the first side, then flip over. Grill until the internal temperature reaches 130°F, making the meat medium rare to medium.
  5. Remove venison from barbecue and rest on a serving tray for 15 minutes before slicing against the grain for superior tenderness. Top with salsa and serve.

FOR THE GLASS

With flavours of black cherry, spices and oak dry, full-bodied Sandhill Syrah 2018 VQA from the Okanagan Valley, B.C.’s Sandhill Estate makes a terrific pairing for this grilled venison dish.